Overview for Modern Languages and Culture – Spanish Immersion
This immersion introduces students to the language, customs, and cultural aspects (history, art, literature, politics, anthropology, and music) of Spain and Spanish-speaking countries. The immersion consists of three language courses or two language courses and one culture course. Students with previous language skills must consult the minor adviser for placement evaluation before they register.
This course continues the basic grammatical structures, vocabulary and situations of first-year Spanish, with foundation work in all skills (speaking, listening, reading, writing, culture). Beginning Spanish II continues work in the past tenses and includes work on the subjunctive mood, plus the future and conditional tenses. Students work on paragraph-length speech and writing, and move toward readiness for conversation and composition. (Prerequisites: MLSP-201A or MLSP-201B or score of 1 on the placement exam or equivalent course.) Seminar (Fall, Spring).
Intermediate Spanish I
This is the first course in the Intermediate Spanish sequence (second year). Intermediate Spanish I is a course in Conversation, along with grammar review and culture study. Emphasis is on tourist survival situation dialogues, various forms of conversation, and registers of formality. The basic skills learned in the first year courses are now put into practice. Students must take the placement exam if this is their first RIT Spanish class, and they have some prior study of Spanish. (Prerequisites: Minimum score of 2 on RIT Language Placement Exam or MLSP-202 or MLSP-202T or equivalent course.) Seminar (Fall, Spring).
Intermediate Spanish II
This is the second course in the Intermediate Spanish sequence (second year). Intermediate Spanish II is a Composition course, emphasizing grammar review, composition, business-letter writing, Spanish for the Professions, and culture, while also including work in speaking and listening. The basic skills learned in the first year courses are now put into practice. In addition to the language work, there is significant work on cultural topics of Spanish-speaking countries at the intermediate level: both formal and informal culture (the arts and daily behavior). Students must take the placement exam if this is their first RIT Spanish class, and they have some prior study of Spanish. (Prerequisites: Minimum score of 3 on RIT Language Placement Exam or MLSP-301 or equivalent course.) Seminar (Fall, Spring).
Spanish for Health Care
Students will acquire culture and communication skills related to health and the health professions in Spanish through experiential learning and primary sources including authentic audiovisual and written materials. This course includes a one-week experiential learning component in a Spanish-speaking community during spring break. A program fee and approved application are required. All students will present an original, culminating project through which they will share the results of this community-based learning experience. Topics covered include Communication Styles, Cultural Awareness, the Medical Interview, Anatomy, Vital Signs, Medical History, Nutrition, Illnesses, Symptoms, Allergies, Appointments, Test Results, Hospitalization, Surgery, Vaccinations, Dental Hygiene, Mental Health, Pregnancy, Sexual Health. (Prerequisites: Minimum score of 3 on RIT Language Placement Exam or MLSP-301 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
Spanish Grammar Review
Spanish Grammar Review is an intensive review of the major grammar components of the Spanish language as typically studied by U.S. college students. Classroom exercises and discussion are supplemented by a textbook and online activity program. The course intends to help students progress in their language study and solidify their grammar skills. In addition to particular exercises in the textbook topics, weekly class work includes an open forum for questions and spontaneous exercises. (Corequisites: Minimum score of 2 on RIT Language Placement Exam or MLSP-202 or MLSP-202T or equivalent course.) Seminar 3 (Spring).
Hispanic Culture & Civilization
Hispanic Culture and Civilization, taught completely in Spanish, examines the history and cultures of the Spanish-speaking countries of the world. Detailed history, regional identities, regional characteristics, connections, similarities and differences, important historical events, cultural expressions, and contemporary issues are discussed, based on readings, documentary films, and research. (Prerequisites: Minimum score of 3 on RIT Language Placement Exam or MLSP-301 or equivalent course.) Seminar 3 (Spring).
Advanced Spanish I
This is the first course at the advanced level. This sequence is designed to further develop proficiency in the four language skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing. This sequence develops the ability to understand and communicate more freely by expansion of vocabulary and grammar, and by exposure to authentic cultural materials, both textual and visual. Students must take the placement exam if this is their first RIT Spanish class, and they have some prior study of Spanish. (Prerequisites: Minimum score of 4 on RIT Language Placement Exam or MLSP-302 or equivalent course.) Seminar (Fall).
Advanced Spanish II
This is the second course at the advanced level. This sequence is designed to further develop proficiency in the four language skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing. This sequence develops the ability to understand and communicate more freely by expansion of vocabulary and grammar, and by exposure to authentic cultural materials, both textual and visual. Students must take the placement exam if this is their first RIT Spanish class, and they have some prior study of Spanish. (Prerequisites: Minimum score of 4 on RIT Language Placement Exam or MLSP-302 or equivalent course.) Seminar (Spring).
Spanish for Science and Technology
This course teaches specialized terminology and linguistic structures important for communicating scientific and technological knowledge in Spanish. The focus is on developing students’ listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in interpreting technical Spanish. Students will learn science and technology terms and structures in a broad range of technical areas via experiential learning activities. In addition, students will research and present topics of their own interest or beyond their disciplines. Students will expand their knowledge of Spanish to include technical terms and linguistic structures. This course will better prepare them to apply their language skills in internships, research, and work while exploring and understanding the culture of professional workplaces in the Spanish-speaking world. (Prerequisites: Minimum score of 4 on RIT Language Placement Exam or MLSP-302 or equivalent course.) Seminar 3 (Annual).
The course gives students an opportunity to study professional language and culture as well as to practice presentation and negotiation skills, especially in professional and formal contexts. Students will improve speaking, listening, reading and writing skills developed in the elementary/intermediate sequence to master formal interactions in Spanish. They will learn professional vocabulary, expressions, and grammatical structures through readings, conversation, and discussion. They will cultivate expressive skills through discussion, writing assignments, and a video tutorial project. This course will be useful for students who are planning to seek employment in international companies or in companies doing business abroad, and also for students who want to learn more about business in Spanish-speaking cultures. This is a language class; proficiency equivalent to Intermediate Spanish II is required. (Prerequisites: Minimum score of 4 on RIT Language Placement Exam or MLSP-302 or equivalent course.) Seminar 3 (Annual).
One culture course may be used in place of one language course
Immigrating to the U.S.
This course examines immigration to the U.S. within the context of globalization. We examine the push- and pull-factors that generate immigration, and changing immigration policies and debates. We consider how changes in the American workplace have stimulated the demand for foreign workers in a wide range of occupations, from software engineer to migrant farmworker and nanny. We review the cultural and emotional challenges of adapting within the American cultural landscape, transnationalism and connections with the homeland, the experiences of refugees, and how immigration has changed since 9/11. Special attention is given to immigration from Latin America, the largest sending region. Lecture 3 (Fall or Spring).
Since the first humans set out from Africa nearly two million years ago, our ancestors and relatives managed to settle in almost every continent. Wherever they went, they left traces of their lives that are tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of years deep. We call these traces the archaeological record. Almost everywhere our ancestors settled, they did many of the same things, such as inventing agriculture, cities, writing, and state-level societies. However, they did this in ways unique to each region and time. This course examines the archaeology of a specific region, such as the Middle East, Mesoamerica, North America, or East Asia, in detail. We examine the geography, culture, archaeological record, and significance of the region to various key themes in archaeological research with respect to other world regions. Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
Culture and Politics in Latin America
What does it mean to be a region forged and defined by conquest? “Latin America” is a construct—a term referring to a vast region of the western hemisphere colonized by speakers of Latin-derived languages (including Spanish, Portuguese, and French). In this context, culture is political and politics are cultural. Throughout what is now called Latin America and the Caribbean, the cultural practices of Indigenous and African peoples became the justification for the imposition of European rule, territorial expansion, enslavement, the extraction of labor and natural resources, Christian evangelization, and the racialized legal frameworks that facilitated it all. This course traces these historical processes and examines present-day legacies of colonialism, including ethnic inequalities, colorism, economic vulnerability, patriarchal relations, and social unrest. We consider, as well, the agency of people of Indigenous and African descent as they pursued survival with tactics ranging from acquiescence and strategic passing to creative blending to outright defiance, resistance, and rebellion. Throughout, we look at how art, music, dance, literature, and religion have engaged critically with the forces of fascism, revolution, socialism, dictatorship, neo-imperialism, and globalization. Lecture 3 (Spring).
The Global Economy and the Grassroots
Latin American Art
Students will explore the historical development of art of Latin America from colonial times to the present. Included will be a consideration of painting, sculpture, architecture, graphic, and photographic arts. Potential themes to be addressed include the dependence on the European neo-classical academic model; indigenism; nationalism and the resurgence of popular art; the role of the visual arts in the construction of history; the conflicts and tensions involved in the search for a cultural identity. Lecture 3 (Spring).
Art of the Americas
This is a survey course of native north and South American visual arts within an historical and anthropological framework. Included will be an examination of the development of principal styles of Ancient American architecture, sculpture, painting, and ceramics up to the 16th century when the Spanish conquistadors defeated the Aztec and Inca empires and imposed colonial rule. Consideration is also given to materials used, techniques of construction, individual and tribal styles, as well as to the meaning and function of various art forms within Native American societies. Lecture 3 (Fall).
This course provides an in-depth look at literary giants and the masterpieces of prose or poetry they have created; it's an opportunity to see the role they played both within the context of their own time and within the larger span of literary history. These great authors confront key questions of modernity that continue to occupy us to this day; they ask the question of what it means to be human and explore fundamental human themes. They give us a fresh perspective on the past and on ourselves. (Prerequisites: Completion of First Year Writing (FYW) requirement is required prior to enrolling in this class.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
Gender and Sexuality in Hispanic Studies
This course introduces students to the study of gender and sexuality in cultural production from the Hispanic world. Students will read, view, and discuss diverse works from a variety of historical periods and geographical regions that deal with gender identity, sexuality, and interrelated social movements. This course refines students' skills through discussions, presentations, and writing exercises on readings, lectures, and film screenings. Students will also develop research skills as they complete a project on a topic chosen in consultation with the instructor. The critical approach that will inform this course is feminist thought. Lecture 3 (Fall).
This course provides an introduction to Hispanic Caribbean culture through cinema studies. We will study the role of film in Hispanic Caribbean societies as well as the unique artistic and technical achievements and obstacles of Cuban, Dominican, and Puerto Rican filmmakers. Topics covered include: The Basics of Film Analysis; An Introduction to Caribbean Film History; The Social Context of the Hispanic Caribbean Film Industry; Art and Revolution; Race, Ethnicity, and Religion; Occupation, Dictatorship, and War; Gender, Sexuality and Exile; Transnationalism and Migration, and Hispanic Caribbean Film in a Global Context. This course will take a cultural studies approach to the study of film as a social practice. Weekly films (1.5-2 hours in length) must be watched outside of class hours. All films with dialog have English subtitles. Lecture 3 (Spring).
Trauma and Survival in First-Person Narrative
This course introduces students to first-person narratives about trauma and survival from Latin America, the Hispanic Caribbean, U.S. Latina/o communities, and Spain. Students will learn about Hispanic literature, culture, and history while exploring the themes of memory, community, and survival in autobiography, testimonial narrative, chronicle, memoir, epistolary narrative, essay, and the historical novel. Through in-class discussion, presentations, reading, and writing exercises, this course refines students’ skills in oral expression, reading, writing, and critical thinking. Students will also develop research skills as they complete a project on a topic chosen in consultation with the instructor. Lecture 3 (Spring).
Borders:Humans, Boundaries, and Empires
Borders are more than walls; they are social constructions with real consequences. This course examines the creation and consequences of borders. It discusses how borders developed historically, how borders function as tools of population management in places and systems far from the borderlands, and the politics and experiences of border crossing. We will look for borders both between and within nation states when addressing these issues. The course will utilize a variety of materials including but not limited to scholarly sources, policy transcripts, popular cultural products (e.g. films and TV shows), and art (e.g. poetry, paintings). Students will play an active role in determining specific course topics, though they can expect to discuss a range of relevant issues including contemporary immigration politics, Indigenous rights, the war on terror, border disputes and armed conflicts, privatization of immigration management, displacement and segregation of domestic populations, and border activism. This course provides students with tools that ground and expand their understanding of borders, preparing them for participation in one of the most important public debates of our time. The purview of this course is relevant for those who aspire toward professions in public policy, law enforcement, public service, law, and community-organizing, among others. Seminar 3 (Fall, Spring).
* When the course deals with Spanish and/or Latin American literature.
† Based on a student's previous study of the Spanish language, students may enroll in either Beginning Spanish IA (MLSP-201A) or Beginning Spanish IB (MLSP-201B).
‡ This course may be used when the topic focuses on Mesoamerica or Latin America.